myRITStory – DRISHTI BHANDARI

Program: Metals and Jewelry Design, MFA

The journey from NIFT, India to RIT was endearing as Drishti recalls it. Coming from a jewelry-design background wanting to acquire more expertise in her field, Drishti made a conscious decision to join RIT’s Master of Fine Arts program in Metals and Jewelry Design, one of the most reputed metal design programs in the entire country.

“I always have people curiously coming up to me asking questions about my program as a majority of them come mostly from engineering and computing backgrounds”, says Drishti. “They find it brave and challenging to pursue a field so unique and unheard of”.

Having her jewelry pieces represented at India’s reputed fashion shows, it was time for Drishti to explore further into the field and acquire higher professional standing in her field. After extensive research, she chose RIT because of the impressively designed curriculum and the exposure provided by the department. She was taken aback by the composition of the curriculum that provides broad exposure to metalworking techniques, promises expanded knowledge of applied design, strong perceptual and philosophical concepts and helps develop an individual mode of expression, facilitating her to practically implement her theoretical knowledge from her under graduation into the creation of intricate models. With an existing impressive portfolio, she believed that an advanced degree from RIT and assistance from industry-renowned professors were sure to guarantee her immense success in the design field.

Drishti plans on making the most of her experience at RIT. Along with the comprehensive coursework that requires long and arduous hours in the ceramics and metals lab, she juggles between schoolwork and a fun job at the Brick City Café and believes it is a great way to meet new people and make ends meet as well. From late hours in the lab crafting beautiful designs with her own hands, she believes that the hands-on experience is providing her with a more detailed outlook in the metal design field.

“People back home are scared to pursue their interests in fields that are unheard of because of the stringent rules back here in the US. However, if an individual is determined enough to work for something that they truly love, success comes easy. I would not have found a better place to learn and hone my skills than at RIT amongst the best peers and faculty.”

Lastly, Drishti considers that choosing Rochester Institute of Technology turned out to be a much better decision than she expected. She believes that although it has been one of the toughest things she has had to do, at the end of the day she loves every second of it!

 

 

New to RIT: What to do next?

As intimidating as it is to arrive in a new country alone amidst new people, it is always important to keep a note of the primary things to get done before the Fall semester starts.

Here is a guide on every detail a new arriving student at RIT must follow before the start of classes:

Moving-in

If you are lucky enough to be traveling with companions split the cab expenses when you first arrive at the airport. The university runs shuttles a week prior to the start of classes from airport, train and the bus stations so that people arriving from all over the world do not have to go through the hassle of Uber and all that luggage and can safely arrive at the university.

A majority of the graduate student reside in several off-campus apartments near the university. Thanks to technology and the geniuses working at Uber, is it now easier to get a ride from any corner of the city. Also make sure to stalk up on the groceries the first week you are here and do not forget to explore the wonders that American supermarkets like Walmart, Wegmans, PriceRite etc. have to offer!

A great resource for new students to buy stuff for their homes is the Goodbye-Goodbuy Sale held in the Orientation week. The thrift sale contains every possible piece of item a student might ever need for extremely cheap prices.

New Student Orientation

The new student orientation provides important information of special interest to international students including:

  • Immigration Information on Maintaining Legal Status While in the U.S.
  • Employment in the U.S. (On and Off campus)
  • Health Care and Health Insurance
  • Cultural Adjustment
  • S. Tax Obligations
  • Safety Concerns
  • S. Social Security Numbers

The orientation is where a student receives information about the absolute life at RIT and in the city of Rochester. For international students, this is primary information session that briefs the students about the conduct and policies of the university and also provides the checklist of the tasks that need to be done after first arriving on campus.

  • The first and foremost thing that any new student should do is get their i20s signed from the office of International Student Services located in the Student Union. This marks that the student has successfully entered the university.
  • The second step would be to visit the Office of Registrar in the George Eastman building to get the official University ID Card. This card is useful while entering residence hall, labs, libraries, buying meals, for campus events, and more and is the primary identification when in the university.
  • The next step would be to head down to the Graduate Admissions Office to submit copies of your degree certificate and transcripts in the Bausch and Lomb Center.

The Orientation week is a great chance to finally get in touch with your PAL in person and learn more about the university and the events that are happening all over the campus. It is also a good time to start looking for on campus jobs (either in person or through handshake applications) before the start of classes.

The week before the classes also marks the RochesterGlobalConnection Welcome Picnic event held at one of the heritage spots in Rochester where new international students from UofR, RIT, MCC and Nazareth College come together for lunch engage in great activities and get to interact with the locals of the city.

Department Orientations are held separately by all colleges and provide specific information about the student’s program of interest, tours of the college, personal interaction with the faculty and advisors and provide more information about the classes and the college in general.

SSN

Every year ISS plans an entire day wherein the students are taken downtown to apply for their Social Security Numbers. The office also provides loads of instructions on how to apply for it, what all documents are needed to apply for it and any other documentation help that a student might need.

Tiger Walk & Ice Skating

One of the finest orientation events is the Tiger Walk held at the Quarter Mile in the university wherein new students all take a round of the entire university with the band playing and faculty and parents cheering the students all along the walk. It remarkably highlights the true spirit of the Tigers at RIT and also a fun way to explore the campus and meet new people!

Enjoy some Ice Skating at the Frank Ritter Ice Arena during orientation week. Public skate hours are available for members of the RIT community and the general public.

Resource Fair

The Resource Fair allows new students and their families to get their questions answered, meet with staff members, take care of business, and get information regarding the resources and services available at RIT and in the community. Students can also get mobile phone Sim cards, get their bank accounts set up and get loads of free goodies!!

Explore the campus

The Office of Graduate Education offers hour long, student-guided walking tours of the academic, athletic, and campus life facilities. They originate the Bausch and Lomb Center, #77 and can be arranged with advanced notice.

The Orientation Week is the most fun time on campus with the sun glistening and cheers all around the campus. Make sure to be on the lookout for emails from various departments and organizations for awesome orientation events on the campus all week long!

Good Luck!

College Student Hacks for Wegmans!

One of the best parts of going to school in the Rochester area is undoubtedly all the Wegmans locations that are available. There are so many, for literally every occasion. Although each Wegmans stocks the same products, for the most part, each one has their little quirks that make them special. Several Wegmans locations within a short drive of RIT even have restaurants built-in.

The Pub at the Wegmans in Perinton

In the Perinton location, there’s the Pub, great for bar food and fried foods. The Pittsford location boasts the burger bar, and across the street is the “Next Door” restaurant. If you have the emotional strength to deal with the parking lot at the East Ave location, your reward can be trying out their Italian restaurant, Amoré. Because you will seriously need some comfort food after trying to secure a parking spot there. It will test you in ways you can’t imagine. But it is worth it. Some of the Wegmans locations have blessed us enough to have side lot parking (shoutout to the Calkins road location), usually located near the cafe entrance. There are fewer spots available but it typically gets less traffic than the main lot, and the spots are much closer to the cafe entrance compared to the main ones, so in weather like this (I’m looking at you, -20 degree windchill!) it really does make a difference and the feeling return to your toes much quicker when you’re not parking so far away. If you hate traffic, like I do, you can go at 9pm when it’s less hectic. Hey, you can even go at 11pm. 3am! Nothing is stopping you except for your own limitations because Wegmans is one of the few grocery stores that remains open for 24 hours. Don’t expect to queue up to the sub line or get some fresh soup if you’re rolling up to the store at 2am, but they will still have all of their prepackaged items available, and of course, the groceries, which is why you’re going in the first place right?

Speaking of subs, AKA submarine sandwiches for those who don’t know, Wegmans happens to make delicious ones. They make hot and toasty pressed subs as well as the cold ones. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: that delicious bread they use? It’s actually the same bread that they use at DiBella’s sandwich shops. So when that sub craving hits and the DiBella’s can’t be found, Wegmans has got your back. If you decide to be an adult and prepare your food instead of just buying, Wegmans has so many things that they do to make it easy for you. Need some carrots spiralized for that veggie spaghetti you’ve been telling yourself you’d try to make for the last 3 weeks? No problem. Got a whole chicken you want to butterfly, but don’t have the giant meat cleaver at home or the willingness to send poultry juice flying all over your kitchen with each hack of the knife? Wegmans has you covered. For pretty much anything. I haven’t been able to come up with something yet that they won’t do for me.

Last but not least, Wegmans makes it so easy for you to save money. Their store brand is as high quality as anything in there, and significantly cheaper. Just as an example, their Wegmans brand organic pasta imported from Italy and specialty balsamic vinegar and olive oils are such high quality and at a reasonable price point especially when you look at other brands and what they expect. Wegmans also offers digital coupons through their Shoppers Club program that are easy to sign up for and redeem. This is another one of the many things that makes Wegmans a great place to shop for college students because of how much they truly value their customers.

Parking at RIT

by Yingshan Wu, Visual Communication Design MFA 

Credit: Tianna Mañón

RIT is immense, How can I choose the parking place?

RIT have 10 main parking places around the academic buildings and 3 parking areas nearby dormitory area. All parking lots have convenient, reserved, general zones for you.

They are:

D Lot and N Lot nearby gym and playground

E Lot, F Lot, G Lot and H Lot are popular and huge areas that work for the main academic area in RIT. They close to the MAGIC Spell Studios, library, facility, campus employees offices and SAU (the campus center). In addition, if you are student of

1.The E. Philip Saunders College of Business (Max Lowenthal Hall)

2.The College of Art and Design (James E. Booth Hall)

3.The College of Science (Thomas Gosnell Hall)

4.The Kate Gleason College of Engineering (James E. Gleason Hall)

This 4 parking lot also can be the nice place to park your car.

J Lot and T Lot are shared work of main academic area, the STEM student also can parking in those lots as well.

S Lot is another giant parking place for people to go to Global Village, Munsell Color Science Laboratory, University Services Center and The E. Philip Saunders College of Business (Max Lowenthal Hall)

R Lot and U Lot are small size parking lots,  If you are lucky, in ice hockey game day please go to the U Lot early, it super close to hockey field, The Gene Polisseni Center.

Although Riverknoll Apartments, University Commons Apartments, and Perkins Green Apartment have their own parking lots, the L Lot, K Lot and C Lot are parking places for the students who live in the Residence Hall buildings (A, B, C, D) and who are working in Student Development Center.

RIT provides those main parking places, which is super helpful to students’s campus life.

 

 

IST Labs at GCCIS

The Golisano College is housed within a three-floor, 126,500 sq. ft. facility that features stunning architecture coupled with state-of-the-art research facilities.

There are 13 classrooms, 12 studio teaching labs, and 16 dedicated labs at the College, offering access to the study of every major computing platform. The College’s dedicated Security Lab is isolated from the rest of the campus’s networks to allow the in-depth study of viruses, firewalls, and other computer vulnerabilities.

The Lab Assistants are responsible to manage the Cage. The cage is basically a hub that stores a plethora of hardware that the students can lend for their classes or projects; it is also the place where the labbies sit and take care of the multiple labs in the IST department.

The labs at the IST department are as follows:

  • NETWORK LABS
  •  Networking Lab
  • Systems Administration Lab
  • AirGap Lab

  • SECURITY LAB

  • DATABASE LABS
  • DB Small Lab
  • DB Medium Lab
  • DB Large Lab

  • OPEN LABS
  • Grad Lab
  • Open Lab and Tutoring Center

  • MAC LAB 1 (CS Dept)
  • MAC LAB 2 (CS Dept)

Additional labs include an Entertainment Lab for 3D modeling game and interactive media development lab, a Mobile Computing and Robotics Lab for the research and development of portable devices; and an Artificial Intelligence lab dedicated to the understanding of human reactions and processing.

Last Minute Spring Break planning destinations

Spring break is an entire week to relax in the middle of the semester and if you are not behind on your assignments you deserve to treat yourself with a relaxing time. With a small or large budget, you should take advantage of the Rochester’s near locations to plan a trip or just enjoy what the city has to offer. Here are some popular spots for spring break:

New York City

Is a 5 hours trip in a car, but it totally worth it, especially if you haven’t been there yet. New York city is a popular spot to go on and off spring break but since you have several days off it makes it more ideal to go there and be able to enjoy it without having to rush your trip. I have been there twice for a few days and I want to come back to keep knowing more about this exciting city.

Brooklyn Bridge

A lot people know someone living already in New York, perhaps they could let you stay in for the break and you could save that money. The hotel could be very expensive but thank God, there is Airbnb where you could find a spot according to your needs.

If you happen to be there I can recommend to go to the museums like The Met, The Moma, Madame Tussauds. Another day could be go to China Town where you could take a picture of your aura as I did. Also, eating pasta, gelato, taking a good cup of coffee with some cannoli https://foursquare.com/top-places/new-york-city/best-places-cannoli at Little Italy, or walking through Brooklyn Bridge. It sounds like a lot but is feasible, I did all that in just 5 days. If you plan your days before hand, you would get the most of your trip.

Ski Resort

I know is Spring break but we are in Rochester so Skiing is a legit way to spend this break. Get together with a group of friends and plan a few days trip in any of the resorts we have close by. A season pass is the best way to go but if you don’t have it you also can find ways to save some money. It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive, you could adjust the amount of days and share expenses with your friends like renting the car to travel, renting the gear and sharing the hotel.

Bristol Mountain Winter Resort

Over the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York 58 miles (1 hour 7 minutes) away from Rochester there are Bristol mountain, Holiday Valley which are popular resorts for skiing. Both offer discount for groups and other activities besides skiing like Winter Carnival dining and spa.

If you are an inexperienced skier is better if you go with a friend who knows and could teach you how things work but if you don’t these places offer lessons that you can take and make you more comfortable on the snow. As a graduate student, you will be in Rochester 2 to 3 years tops so take advantage of this time, the location and the weather. Yes! you are reading correctly, you can enjoy this weather as well.

Niagara Falls

I haven’t been there yet but just seeing the pictures that the scenery is breathtaking and being so close to it you don’t want to miss it. Niagara Falls is a collective name for 3 waterfalls that are place in the international border between Canada and the US (New York State).

Niagara Falls

From largest waterfall is Horseshoe Falls, then next close in size is American Falls and the smallest one is called Bridal Veil Falls. Horseshoe and Bridal Veil falls, both lie on American and Canadian borders, while American Falls is completely on the US side. So, if you are an international student, you don’t need a Canadian visa to visit. This is also a destination worthy to spend a few days there, from 2 to 3 days. If you enjoy outdoor adventures this destination is for you. You just have to dress accordingly for the weather at this time of the year, for spring break week is not so bad and you will be able to see the waterfall in movement.

Niagara Falls are located 19 miles (34 min) north-northwest of Buffalo City and 86 miles (1h 28 m) away from Rochester. If you are able to go for 3 days you also could make a quick tour through Buffalo City. I encourage you to visit the link niagarafallsusa.com and see the possibilities around this destination.

Rochester

If you don’t have the budget or the time to plan a trip you still can enjoy the city of Rochester. I just have been here for a semester and a half and I have been busy in grad school of course so I haven’t been out that much, but from what I have experience so far, I could recommend you my favorite places here in Rochester, The Strong Museum and The Playhouse. Both places are incredible fun, you could spend hours there exploring and playing. They are design to make you play and be creative.

Strong Museum of P

If you can, also try to talk with a local, they probably could recommend you other places that are not listed in this link https://vacationidea.com/destinations/best-things-to-do-in-rochester.html Even when is a small city in comparison to others, Rochester offers a number of fun things to do inside the city. Talk to your classmates that are not traveling and plan different activities to do together. We are in the middle of the semester and you just went through stressful midterms, you need time to do something fun outside school.

I wish you a relaxing and amazing spring break!

#myRITstory – Antoinette Defoundoux

In honor of International Women’s Day (this Friday, March 8th) we’re proudly featuring the stories of #RITWomen this week. Join us Friday morning at 9 a.m. for a webinar featuring our female students and staff as they discuss RIT history, opportunities for women in STEM, and RIT’s curriculum, research, and campus life. Register today!

Antoinette Defoundoux-Fila is from the Republic of Congo in Central Africa and is passionate about helping people. She has always wanted to work in the health field, and for a long time wanted to become a medical doctor. Since starting her studies at RIT, her new passion is to work in the research and develop medical devices. She is currently pursuing her MS degree in Manufacturing and Mechanical System Integration and is avidly working on her capstone project with her adviser, Dr. O’Neil. Antoinette’s project focuses on the redesigning of jet nebulizers (medical devices that are used to treat respiratory diseases) to make it adaptable to a hand cranked compressor. This system will be used in low income countries where access to electricity can be difficult hence making an electric compressor useless. Their work involves redesigning the nebulizers to make sure that the medicine droplet size stays the same dosage when using a hand cranked compressor.

When she is not in class, Antoinette is busy with the Women in Technology (WIT) group on campus where she can give (and receive!) support from other STEM women on campus and the program leader, Nykki Mathews. This serves as a place of motivation and support for her, where she can always seek help and get advice through weekly meetings and the other resources available.

Antoinette also has a passion for helping younger women become interested in STEM fields. Her favorite RIT event is the Girls in STEM fair. During the fair, female students of all ages (kindergarten to high school) from local schools come to RIT to enjoy a day of educational activities put together by female engineering and science students and professors. Antoinette loves the event because it “shows that science and technology can be fun, but also, at the end of the day a lot of those participants want to pursue a career in engineering or science.”

Antoinette will be leaving RIT this spring, but wants others to know what a special place RIT is, especially for women. “There is a club for everybody at RIT. This diversity helps students find a sense of community and belonging in whatever club you identify with.”

.Learn more about RIT’s Manufacturing and Mechanical Systems Integration MS program here.

#MyRITstory- Ajinkya Shinde

Ajinkya Shinde is a second-year graduate student at RIT. He began his journey as a grad student in January 2017 in the field of Electrical Engineering, but his passion laid in robotics and automation. This made him transfer to the Manufacturing and Mechanical Systems Integration (MMSI) department. The smooth shift between the departments helped him to take a step forward towards his passion in automation. It is truly said, “everything comes with a cost”, it was difficult for Ajinkya to get familiar to the mechanical terms as he had his background in electrical engineering, but his interest and dedication made him come over all those obstacles and perform exceptional in his current field of study.

Selection of courses and managing them in the time limit that you are given is another challenging part of a grad life. After he changed his major, he took the classes and electives in a way that can earn him degree in two of the different concentrations that are provided by the department. So, he could know more about Electronics Manufacturing and Advanced Concepts of Semiconductor Packaging.

The greed to achieve more encouraged him to push himself harder and in 2018, he started working as a Teaching Assistant for a Biomedical Engineering course, Control Systems. This was just the beginning and a step towards success. After that semester working as TA, he is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr Martin Anselm. The research is in the field of Photonics. He is also working as a Vice President of SMTA (Surface Mount Technology Association) RIT Student Chapter. Thus, he has been successful in achieving and exploring all possible opportunities that he could at RIT and is hoping to explore more in the future. From the experience as a grad student, Ajinkya says that hard work and perseverance are the foundation to be a successful person”.

Learn more about RIT’s MMSI department.

Learn more about the SMTA Student Chapter at RIT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#myRITstory – Rashmi Jeswani

In honor of International Women’s Day (this Friday, March 8th) we’re proudly featuring the stories of #RITWomen this week. Join us Friday morning at 9 a.m. for a webinar featuring our female students and staff as they discuss RIT history, opportunities for women in STEM, and RIT’s curriculum, research, and campus life. Register today!

Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS

My name is Rashmi Jeswani and I come from the town of Indore located at the heart of India. I am currently a Masters student studying Information Sciences at RIT. I recently switched majors from Business to Information Technology and I am glad I chose RIT for that. I love reading; it is one of my most favorite things to do. I have recently discovered skiing and hiking after coming to the states and I have fallen in love with that.

Coming to RIT was a massive change in my life as I had never lived away from home and my family and this has to be one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do.

I arrived at RIT last fall and plan to graduate in the May of 2020.

I love exploring new places to eat and hang out on campus and have quite a few favorite spots on campus. Some of them have to be the ‘study pods’ on the third floor of the Wallace Library if I have to doze off after a long night of submissions or concentrate on a tough assignment, the Fireside Lounge when I want to hang out with some friends and get work done amidst great music playing on the piano and of course Java Wally’s for their amazing Shot in the Dark and small snacks!!

The thing that I love the most about RIT is that I have developed a sense of freedom and individuality ever since I have arrived here. The ability to manage things on my own and be responsible for my actions and learn from my mistakes. Also, the plethora of resources at RIT have enabled me to learn a lot of things outside the classroom: at my jobs, with the professors, with my peers etc.

The primary reasons that I chose RIT were the courses that I was offered, the Co-op program and the scholarship that I was offered. I had heard really good things about the university, the campus life, employment opportunities, the city of Rochester and I actively decided to pursue my masters at the university.

During my last semester, I got the opportunity to present an idea for a project to one of my professors. The idea was ‘Business Intelligence Tools for Inventory Management and Scalability’. My professor seemed to love the idea and still actively supports and guides me to try and work towards turning this idea into my final capstone so soon into my masters!

In the long run I want to see myself working as a Data Analyst for a reputed firm anywhere in the world and develop tools that can bring about a reasonable change in the lives of the people around me. This is my ultimate career goal, to do what I love doing!

There are a bunch of things that I love the most about RIT. I LOVE the campus, I love the snow (even when people will argue it is something that they hate), I love the two jobs that I am working and most of all I love that I am studying and doing what I have dreamed of doing for so long at RIT. The great places on campus, the amazing people that I have met since the first day that I came to Rochester, the sense of belonging, the resources offered by the university and how everyone is constantly motivating and helping you to strive for the best in your career makes me more passionate every day to go out and work even harder for it even when if I fail sometimes.

Learn more about RIT’s MS in Information Sciences and Technologies program here.

 

 

 

 

 

#myRITstory – Alyssa Recinella

In honor of International Women’s Day (this Friday, March 8th) we’re proudly featuring the stories of #RITWomen this week. Join us Friday morning at 9 a.m. for a webinar featuring our female students and staff as they discuss RIT history, opportunities for women in STEM, and RIT’s curriculum, research, and campus life. Register today!

Alyssa Recinella, PhD in Engineering

Q: When did you begin your degree program at RIT?

A: I started as a Bachelor’s student in Engineering Exploration back in 2011. I eventually picked mechanical engineering and joined the dual degree BS/MS program back in 2015. I graduated in December 2016 and began my doctoral program in January 2017.

Q: What is your expected date of graduation?

A: Currently, May 2020. But it all depends on funding! My degree may be extended by a summer or a semester. But the goal is to finish either in May 2020 or December 2020.

Q: Do you have a favorite spot on campus?

A: I have a few! I love doing homework in Java’s. I enjoy sitting by the windows in the engineering building to watch the rain or snow while I’m reading or having a conference call. Finally, I really enjoy the Fireside Lounge with a good cup of coffee and some music, especially when the fire is going.

Q: Do you have a favorite RIT event? Why?

A: Oh man, hockey!!! Who doesn’t love hockey? I grew up watching the Detroit Red Wings and I’ve loved watching the Tigers the past few years, especially in the new Polisseum!

Q: Are you involved in any clubs or groups on campus?  Do you have a special role in that group?

A: During my undergrad I was very involved in Engineers for a Sustainable World and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I had a few different leadership roles in both clubs throughout the years. Now I’m the president of the Doctoral Student Association on campus.

Q: What do you enjoy most about RIT?

A: There’s something for everyone. Want to go into the Greek system? We have it. Want to build machines that shoot foam balls? We have it. Want to play with Legos or build fake roller coasters? We have it. Want to stay in your room and play video games while a robot brings you soda? We have it.

Q: Have you completed a Co-Op? If so, how was your experience with the process?

A: I’ve had 4 different co-ops. All of them were diverse and ranged in expectations and experience. But one main factor they all had in common = it is what you make it. If I didn’t have work to do, I made work to do. And other teams became interested and I was recognized by more people. I was in new cities with no one that I knew and ended up with long-term connections and great experiences. Go in open minded of everything! You may not enjoy the work you’re doing but that doesn’t mean you have to have a bad time. You have now learned that you don’t quite enjoy that line of work but maybe you learned some awesome software or technical skills along the way. Stay positive!

  1. Research Assistant, Machinist, DesignerThermal Analysis, Microfluidics and Fuel Cell Lab at RIT – January 2014 – August 2014
  2. Thermal Engineer – IBM – January 2015 – August 2015
  3. Thermal Engineer – Carrier Corporation – May 2017 – August 2017
  4. Oncology Intern – Rochester Regional Health – May 2018 – August 2018

Q: Why did you chose RIT?

A: So many reasons. I had a lot of criteria when choosing colleges but the top 5 most important were the following:

  1. Co-op Program (RIT’s program is just incredible and that’s a fact)
  2. Finances (scholarship, tuition costs, housing costs in the area, etc.)
  3. Distance to home (for me, not too close, not too far away)
  4. The Engineering Program (ease of transfer into other disciplines, amount of other disciplines, esteem of the program compared to other schools, hands-on curriculum, etc.)
  5. Size of the school (I was looking at schools that had 2,000 people and looking at schools that had 50,000 people; RIT was a happy medium)

Q: Do you have a Research/Thesis/Capstone project you are excited about? Can you share some details.

A: Absolutely! I’m currently studying breast cancer detection techniques. We’re studying a non-invasive, no contact, no radiation method called Infrared Imaging. Although there is controversy with the FDA around this technology, most of it is based on the fact that there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence or exploration backing the technology. So for my dissertation, we’re trying to prove that this is a valid method that should be considered through in-depth scientific exploration and clinical trials.

Q: Do you have a specific career goal? If so, what?

A: Absolutely not. I know I want to work in Research and Development somewhere but I’m completely open when it comes to the field and the organization. I’d preferably either like to work in a National Lab, in industry (like a start-up) or in a government facility (NASA or the DoD)

Q: What are you most proud of/passionate about at RIT?

A: The answer to this question has changed every year that I’ve been at RIT. At the moment, I’m immensely proud of the growing PhD programs at RIT and my involvement in the Doctoral Student Association (DSA). We’re trying to get doctoral students in all different disciplines to collaborate in multidisciplinary activities, expose our programs to more local companies and alumni, get students out of the lab for some good free food and games and finally bring more people to the downtown area to serve the Rochester community. The DSA is a brand new organization on campus and I’m so proud to see how far it’s come in the past 2 years.

Q: In your opinion, what about RIT provides a sense of community?

A: I think there are certain activities or events on campus that make everyone feel proud to be here. But the biggest aspect is what I said above: there’s something here for everyone. People feel like they belong. We don’t all necessarily belong to the same groups but all the groups belong to RIT. And when people are happy within their own spaces, they feel closer to the campus and to the community.

For more information about RIT’s Engineering PhD program, or to explore other graduate school options, review our program list here.